Smallholding Manual: The Complete Step-by-step Guide (Haynes) by Liz Shankland

Smallholding Manual: The Complete Step-by-step Guide (Haynes) by Liz Shankland

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The Good Life has never been so popular, with more and more of us searching for the perfect rural idyll our very own piece of the countryside where we can live side by side with nature, produce our own food, and have a degree of control over what we eat.

Written by experienced and successful smallholder Liz Shankland, the Haynes Smallholding Manual is ideal for existing landowners as well as those contemplating a move to the countryside. Unlike previous books in this genre, it takes you right from that all-important Step 1 finding the perfect smallholding to creating a viable lifestyle.

The Smallholding Manual offers a complete introduction to the myriad potential land uses and provides clear, step-by-step guides to getting to grips with enjoying a new, more fulfilling lifestyle.

Taking on a smallholding: pros and cons, commitment needed, financing the move.

Finding the perfect place: importance of location, land needed, common pitfalls.

Getting ready: learning new skills, planning how you will manage your land.

Legal requirements: getting registered, dealing with red tape, livestock regulations.

Essential equipment: finding the best kit to make light work of chores, health and safety.

Growing fruit and veg: improving soil, extending the growing season, planting an orchard.

Your first livestock: buying, caring for and rearing animals for meat. Growing feed for livestock: care of grassland, making silage and haylage.

Selling your produce: regulations involved, direct sales, farmers markets. Wildlife-friendly farming: biodiversity, habitat maintenance and creation.

Showing your livestock: getting started, preparation, using shows to promote your stock.

About the author

Liz Shankland runs a successful smallholding that has been home to everything from poultry and pigs to sheep and goats. She breeds pedigree pigs and has twice won the prestigious Tamworth Champion of Champions competition. A journalist and broadcaster by profession, Liz is the author of the Haynes Pig Manual and The Practical Guide to Buying and Running a Smallholding in Wales. She writes for numerous publications about farming and countryside matters, including Country Smallholding magazine.

Book details

184 pages
J H Haynes & Co Ltd
Publication date
April 2012


Patrick Anderson

Saturday 6 October, 2012 at 5:46pm

Having read a number of books about the subject of smallholding, I found this one was aimed at the persons that are looking to buy there ideal retreat and the information was very washed over. This book did not give enough information with regard to the subjects and was always saying get this beit of kit/equipment, animal keeping was get one do this and this and things should be alright.

The author has a lot of experence in smallholding but has seemed to have forgotten that most people don't have lots of money/land and are starting at the bottom, and taking small steps to get to where they wish to be.

I am aware that publishers need to keep going but Hynes need to keep to motor car maintance books.


Wednesday 20 February, 2013 at 11:32am

I found this book to be a good overview of smallholding in general. It gave a basic introduction into smallholding, covering many different areas. However, I found that, for anyone with even a basic knowledge of keeping pets and growing veg would find this book far too basic. You could not use this book to help you set up a small holding, as all it gives is a brief introduction to the different aspects. That said, it did have some useful photos such as the page spread on erecting stock fencing.

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